NEW DELHI: Americans have been beaten by the Taliban while attempting to reach the US-held airport in Kabul, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said during a Defense Department briefing held after US citizens were told Saturday not to travel to the airport due to security threats.
“We know of cases, a small number that we know of… We don’t have perfect visibility, but we know of a small number of cases where some Americans and certainly, as Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also said in that statement, Afghans-Afghans that we want to evacuate have been harassed and, in some cases, beaten,” Kirby said at the briefing, Al Arabiya reported.
Kirby added that most Americans who have their credentials with them are being allowed through the Taliban checkpoints.
“We are aware of sporadic cases where they aren’t being allowed, where there is some harassment going on, and yes, some physical violence has occurred within the last week. What appears to be happening is that not every Taliban fighter either got the word or decided to obey the word to allow Americans to get to the airport,” he added
US Army Major General Hank Taylor also provided updated numbers on evacuations, saying that among the 17,000 evacuated this week, 2,500 were Americans.